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There are some specific nutrients we are looking to gain when consuming dairy and not all milk is created equal. So let’s crack the shell on nut milk and see how some popular milk alternatives stack up to cow’s milk when it comes to the nutrition facts label.

picture of milk

Cow’s milk

Nutrition Facts: Non-fat Skim Milk 83 Calories, 0g Fat, 8g Protein, 12g Carbohydrate, 30% DV Calcium 

Cow’s milk is a nutritional powerhouse. It is one of the most nutritionally dense beverages we can consume; containing a unique package of nutrients. At just 83 calories per cup, non-fat skim milk provides nine essential nutrients (1). Milk is also a great source of complete protein, which is found in animal products. Complete proteins contain all nine essential amino acids (the ones that our bodies do not make). In terms of protein quality and content per serving, you can’t beat cow’s milk. Animal products such as cow’s milk also contain cholesterol, which should be limited to less than 300 mg per day (2). One 8 ounce glass of skim milk contributes less than 5mg of cholesterol, making it part of a heart healthy diet. Three servings per day of dairy is associated with better weight management, bone health and reduced risk of certain chronic diseases (1).

Cow’s milk provides a wide variety of benefits but dietary restrictions including allergies, intolerances and vegan lifestyles create the need for milk alternatives.

*FYI- The nine essential nutrients found in cow’s milk are also found in milk alternatives. However, calcium, and some other nutrients must be fortified to be equivalent to cow’s milk. Soy, Coconut and Almond Milks do not naturally contain much calcium at all.  Most are fortified but not all brands are.  It is important to read labels and understand that the calcium in fortified milks is not as readily absorbed as the calcium in cow’s milk.

 

Soy Milk

Nutrition Facts Soy Milk 100 Calories, 4g Fat, 7g Protein, 8g Carbohydrate, 30% DV Calcium

This beverage can be a great alternative if you are in need of a substitute for cow’s milk. Soy milk is considered a good source of calcium and other nutrients at 100 calories per glass (3). This milk also contains 7 grams of complete protein per cup. Soy is one of the few non-animal sources of complete protein. Research also shows that consuming 25 grams of soy protein per day, along with a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease (3). Since soy milk is a plant based product it is cholesterol free and also low in saturated fat.

 

Coconut Milk

Nutrition Facts: Coconut Milk 80 Calories, 5g Fat, 1g Protein, 7g Carbohydrate, 10% DV Calcium

At 80 calories per 8 ounce glass, coconut milk is similar to cow’s milk when it comes to calorie content and contains no cholesterol. However, this beverage isn’t a great source of protein at only one gram per cup. Unlike most plant products, coconut milk contains a significant amount of saturated fat.

Saturated fat intake should be limited to less than 7 percent of total daily calories or about 16 grams of saturated fats per day based on a 2,000 calorie diet (4). Three glasses of coconut milk would add 15 grams of saturated fat to your daily intake. Using small amounts of coconut milk in cooking to add a tropical flavor may be more appropriate than swapping it out for the three recommended servings of low fat dairy per day.

 

Almond Milk

 Nutrition Facts: Non-fat Skim Milk 60 Calories, 2.5g Fat, 1g Protein, 8g Carbohydrate, 45% DV Calcium

Almond milk is low in calories at only 60 per cup. This milk provides zero grams of cholesterol and zero grams of saturated fat. Almonds are rich in many nutrients; however almond milk provides far less protein than cow’s milk. One 8 ounce glass provides only 1 gram of protein. This milk is a good source of vitamins and minerals, but doesn’t stack up to cow’s milk in the protein department.

Conclusion: Some milk alternatives can provide a good source of nutrition for those avoiding cow’s milk. Just keep in mind that label reading is key when choosing an appropriate substitute to meet your needs.

References:

http://www.drink-milk.com/health-wellness/3-every-day.aspx

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/FatsAndOils/Fats101/Fats-and-Oils-AHA-Recommendation_UCM_316375_Article.jsp

http://silk.com/products/light-original-soymilk

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/FatsAndOils/Fats101/Saturated-Fats_UCM_301110_Article.jsp

Written by: Molly Kayser, BGSU Graduate Student intern with Wood County Extension.

Reviewers: Susan Zies, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Wood County.

Cheryl Barber Spires R.D., L.D. ,Program Specialist, SNAP- Ed, Ohio State University Extension, West Region
 

Sunshine, warm weather and spring rain usher in a new growing season for our local farmers. It won’t be long until we see the products of their efforts at a local farmer’s market.

Early markets will be opening up in the next few weeks. You can expect to see early crops such as asparagus, rhubarb aRedLentilRhubarbSoupnd maple syrup. As we get into May, there will be more of the greens showing up – kale, collards, and mustard greens. Check out the Ohio Farm Bureau’s OUR OHIO website for more information about fruits and vegetables in season, http://ourohio.org/food/whats-in-season. And, try this recipe for Red Lentil and Rhubarb Soup, http://ourohio.org/food/recipes/532/red-lentil-and-rhubarb-soup.

Written by: Linnette Goard, Field Specialist, Food Safety, Selection and Management, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, goard.1@osu.edu.

Reviewed by: Kathy Green, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Butler County, Miami Valley EERA.

Oh My Aching…..

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If you are at all like me, you were anxious to get outside last weekend and enjoy the beginnings of spring! Whether you took a long walk, rode your bike or spent some time cleaning up your yard after a long hard winter, you can probably fill in the blank above with “Back”, ‘Legs”, “Neck”, etc.

It is amazing how muscles and joints that we don’t normally even think about can suddenly command our attention. The soreness and stiffness that we sometimes experience can make us hesitant to jump back into these activities again – but don’t give up! Learning more about preventing and treating sore muscles and aching joints will allow you to continue with the activities you enjoy.

There are several causes for sore muscles. It might be doing an activity that you are not used to or suddenly increasing the intensity of an activity. These changes can cause microdamage to the muscle fibers and connective tissue. It usually doesn’t hurt right away but about a day later you may start feeling sore. The good news is that it will ease in a day or two and the next time you do the activity, your muscles will start to get used to the movement and will become stronger and you’ll become less sore.

Pain in your joints is often a sign of osteoarthritis. The cartilage that cushions the joints wears away and can lead to increased pain with use of that joint. Pain can be caused by overuse or injury.

One way to help prevent sore muscles is through stretching. It is important to stretch properly.

Here are some stretching tips:

  • Stretching should never be painful but should cause your muscle to feel comfortably stretched but never distressed.
  • Take your time and ease into each stretch.
  • Hold it for 15 to 30 seconds and perform the stretch three times.
  • Breathe naturally when you are stretching – never hold your breath!

Always consult your physician before any type of physical activity – including stretching.

If you do have a sore muscle, most experts recommend using ice wrapped in a thin towel for immediate relief. This will help reduce inflammation then you can use heat later to increase blood flow to the area. Heat is often helpful for joint pain.

So, go outside, enjoy the warm spring weather that has finally arrived. But remember, ease into new activities to avoid the aches and pains!

Written by: Marilyn Rabe, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, rabe.9@sou.edu

Reviewed by: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, Treber.1@osu.edu

 

Sources: Managing Sore Muscles and Joint Pain.

http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/art- sore-muscles-joint-pain

Stretching and Flexibility as We Age

http://ohioline.osu.edu/ss-fact/0171.html

Candy Counts Up Quickly!

Many families as part of their Easter celebration, give a child a basket filled with toys and sweet treats. These treats can really add up the calories and fat… a medium size chocolate bunny (4 ounces) can have 880 calories and 48 grams of fat!

Walk it Off!
Use this calorie counter to determine how far you’d need to walk to burn the calories from the candy in your Easter basket. For example, to walk off the calories consumed from eating 1¾ ounce hollow chocolate bunny (260 calories), you would need to walk 2.6 miles! You may think twice about the treats you put in your child’s basket, and also the ones you might sneak a taste of while you’re filling the eggs!

easter

Fun Alternatives to Candy
There are many ways you can give a child a treat to enjoy without all the calories and fat:
• Fill the basket with favorite fruits. Clementines are a nice colorful fruit that are easy to peel. Dried fruit is a good alternative too… it’s still sweet and filled with nutrients.
• Small toys or activity books. Here are some ideas to get you started:
o Bubbles
o Kites
o Seeds & gardening gloves
o Sidewalk chalk
o Bug catchers
o Art supplies
o Travel games
o Kids’ cookbooks & baking utensils
• Include family fitness toys like a soccer ball or jump rope.
• If you want to include some candy, use small packages to limit consumption.
• Make it a game to find the basket… kids love scavenger hunts. You can even attach a string to the basket that the child must wind up to find the treasure at the other end.
• Themed baskets are great fun for kids too… if they are in to a certain toy, you can add to their collection.

Have a Happy, Healthy Easter!

Sources:
Calorie Counter: http://walking.about.com/library/cal/bleastercalories.htm
Steeves, Ann. “Nutritious and Delicious—Alternatives to Easter Candy.” (2013). The University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824 – http://www.unh.edu/healthyunh/blogs/2013/03/alternatives-easter-candy
Image: http://www.gnclivewell.com.au/files/editor_upload/Image/healthy-easter.jpg

Writer: Shannon Carter, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Fairfield County, carter.413@osu.edu.
Reviewers: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County, barlage.7@osu.edu.

Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, treber.1@osu.edu

mitochondria“M” word #1: Metabolism

Many of us blame our “slow” metabolism when we don’t lose weight as quickly as we would like. But what exactly is metabolism, and why does it vary so much from person to person? Metabolism is a complex network of hormones and enzymes that (1) converts food into fuel, and (2) affects how efficiently you burn that fuel. It is influenced by your age (it goes down about 5% per decade after the age of 40) and your gender (men burn more calories at rest than women). But the three primary factors affecting your metabolic rate include:

1. Your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR),
2. The Thermic Effect of Food (TEF), and
3. Your Physical Activity Energy Expenditure (PAEE).

The resting metabolic rate (RMR) reflects the number of calories you burn to maintain your body processes when you are at rest (sleeping, watching TV, sitting at your desk); it’s about 65-75% of your total daily calorie expenditure. The thermic effect of food (TEF) reflects how many calories you burn throughout the day digesting food; approximately 5-10%.

The third component of your metabolism, the physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE), is the most varied percent range (15-30%). How much above your RMR can you rise if you become physically active? It depends. People who exercise regularly develop more muscle mass, which increases the number of calories they can burn each day. To illustrate; a pound of muscle uses six calories a day to sustain itself. On the flip side, a pound of fat burns only two calories per day. That difference may not sound like a lot, but over time it really adds up.

So here’s the mathematical formula you need to memorize: RMR (doing nothing) + TEF (digesting food) + PAEE (physical activity) = Your Metabolism. I’m not a math geek, but even I can see that adding physical activity into your daily routine will benefit your weight loss goals by increasing your metabolism.

“M” word #2: Mitochondria

Mitochondria are tiny bean-shaped ‘organelles’ inside your muscle cells. The more exercise you do, the more your mitochondria grow in size and number. In case this didn’t sink in, I’m going to repeat it: the more exercise you do, the more your mitochondria grow in size and number.

The reason this is so important is because mitochondria are like little furnaces that chew up fats and sugars and spew out energy for your muscles to use. And they do it on demand. As you run, cycle, or swim, the mitochondria have to crank out more energy and consume more fat and sugar. At lower levels of intensity, your mitochondria can consume the bulk of their energy needs from fat. But as the intensity of your activity increases, they will begin to use muscle sugar (glycogen) as well.

If you have only a few mitochondria in your muscle cells, there will not be much fat and sugar burning action going on in there. Let’s say you took to heart what I just shared with you at the beginning of this article about your PAEE/metabolism. You decide to start exercising daily. At first, you will probably get tired and/or winded because there aren’t enough mitochondria to keep energy flowing to the muscles. But, (and here’s the awesome part), by the end of your exercise session your muscles will be producing more mitochondria. Eventually your muscle fibers will be stuffed full of mitochondria. Now exercise will get easier. You will be able to exercise longer with less effort.

And here is where all this information leads to weight loss. Your muscles start to burn more fat and sugar all the time – because mitochondria don’t sleep. Your ability to burn calories and lose weight has increased exponentially because you added physical activity to your daily routine. Mm, Mm, Good!

Writer:
Donna Green, Extension, Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension

Reviewed by:
Liz Smith, M.S, RDN., L.D. NE Regional Program Specialist, SNAP-ED, Ohio State University Extension

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/make-most-your-metabolism

http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/morning-workout-increases-metabolism-throughout-day

http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/exercise-for-energy-workouts-that-work

http://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder/Mitochondria.pdf

The Power of Touch

The reasons why people choose to have a massage are varied, but two of the most common are usually to relieve stress or as part of a day of pampering. Massage therapy actually has many benefits, including the role it can play in overall health and well-being. A growing body of evidence shows that massage therapy can be effective for a variety of health conditions, such as chronic low back pain, stress, fibromyalgia, headaches, and inflammation after exercise. According to a consumer survey completed by the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA):

  • 75% of individuals claim their primary reason for receiving a massage in the past 12 months was medical (43%) and stress-related (32%).
  • 87% of the individuals viewed massage as being beneficial to overall health and wellness
  • 61% of the respondents said their physician recommended they get a massage

wellness-285589_150

Are you new to receiving a massage or want to get the most out of your experience? Here are some tips to help you get the maximum benefit out of your massage:

  • Be able to provide your massage therapist accurate health information and share your expectations.
  • Discuss any apprehensions you have about massage therapy with your therapist. Remember, your massage therapist is a professional who is dedicated to his/her career path.
  • Your massage therapist will most likely use lotions or oils to decrease friction on your skin. If you have allergies, please tell your therapist.
  • Music may be played during the session. Let your massage therapist know if you have different preferences. The same goes for talking during the massage.
  • Provide your massage therapist feedback during the massage if you have concerns about pressure or any type of discomfort whatsoever.
  • Remember, the therapeutic benefits of massage are cumulative, so the more you get a massage, the better you will feel and the more quickly your body will respond!

 

Massage therapists are required to demonstrate ability through education and testing, adhere to a strict code of ethics, and to meet continuing education requirements. To find a professional massage therapist near you, visit http://www.ncbtmb.org/tools/find-a-certified-massage-therapist

 

Written by: Melissa Welker, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Fulton County, Maumee Valley EERA, welker.87@osu.edu

Reviewed by:

Donna Green, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Erie County

Sources: www.amtamassage.org

www.ncbtmb.org

 

 

Find Your Calm

nature

Eco therapy or the growing field of outdoor practices connects us to the healing benefits of nature. Decrease stress, improve your immune response, lower your blood pressure and make your sleep more peaceful by using these strategies.

Go outside. Researchers in the United States and Japan have determined that simply being in nature helps lower blood pressure. Is it the view? Or the smell of trees? Maybe walking on a trail or looking for signs of spring?
People suffering from stress, illness or a trauma can benefit from spending quiet time in nature to heal. Explore walking in the gardens, hiking in the mountains, or walking trails in the woods. Nature is not only wilderness. The benefits of nature can also be found in our communities’ parks and green spaces. If you enjoy hiking outdoors, great! Researchers have linked lowered blood pressure and improved immune response to exercising outdoors. They found that being physically active outside increases these benefits more than the same activity completed inside or in urban settings.

Once you are outside, move! Regular exercise has been proven to help control depression and reduce stress. Try movements you enjoy, such as biking, walking or gardening. An added bonus includes exercises that focus the mind on the present movement. Dance, yoga and martial arts have all been shown to have excellent stress-relief benefits.

Be mindful.
Spend time each day to ground and center your mind. This helps bring focus and peace to your daily life. How do you do this? Relax and breathe deeply or focus on your breath. Mindfulness is paying attention in a particular way, on purpose in the present moment. For example, pay more attention as you’re brushing your teeth, taking a shower or taking a walk outdoors. Zero in on the sight, smell, sound, taste and feel of these activities. Mindfulness is a practice that trains your brain to be more efficient and better integrated with less distractions and improved focus. It reduces stress and helps you become your best self.

Written by: Beth Stefura, Extension Educator, The Ohio State University, Mahoning County, stefura.2@osu.edu
Reviewed by: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, The Ohio State University, Pickaway County, treber.1@osu.edu

Resources: http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/nature-therapy-ecotherapy

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